*This is part 4 of my Night Owl vs. Early Bird series. (Go here to read from the beginning)
Well folks, the verdict is finally in and the Early Bird definitely wins. I never thought I would be able to wake up early (before my kids) for an entire week! I have always let the comfort of my bed win, only to be woken up by the sounds of my kids beckoning me with their demands in what seemed like an eternal version of “Groundhog Day…with KIDS!”
Ever wondered what life might be like if you were to wake up BEFORE your kids??
“Why on earth would I want to wake up before my kids?”
If you are a mother, you know what it is like to start and end your day with kids. Being a mother and raising kids is the noblest calling on earth! That being said, it is also one of the most thankless jobs, and the endless beckoning from the little minions that call you “Mom” can be exhausting and you may wish that you had a remote with a very large PAUSE or MUTE button just to survive the day!
I have always wished I could be a morning person. Unfortunately, the Night Owl in me always robbed me of the desire to leave those sheets any earlier than I absolutely had to. This past week has shown me what I have been missing all these years. Those who have read my previous posts know that I pledged to go to bed early and wake up early to see if Early Birds really had an edge on life. Why should you wake up before your kids? I will give you my 5 top reason why I did!
- Having personal ‘me’ time is absolutely essential to being a great mom! So many moms just think it is their lot in life to endlessly serve their families but forget than in order to do that, they first need to fill their own cup! You can not give living water from an empty well, and families today desperately need that living water! YOU are the eye of the storm at your house, and how YOU start your day will determine if all hell will rage or if peace will reign. (I am only speaking here from my own personal experience) Waking up early has made a tremendous difference in how I interact with my kids. I have been very pleasantly surprised with this outcome. I have always taken my ‘personal time’ at night but have found a huge difference in doing it BEFORE my kids wake up as opposed to AFTER they go to sleep! Just sayin’…..
- Waking up early has made my productivity SOAR! If you want to really tackle that to do list, wake up early! I’m sure there are studies as to why this is and I didn’t research them for you (who has time for that??), all I know is it just works! I got more accomplished in the first 3 hours of my day than I ever did late at night!
- My mind and thoughts are more clear. I go walking in the morning, and sometimes listen to an inspirational talk or music. I find ideas and inspiration popping into my head like never before! I can say my prayers in the silence of the morning without the background noise of my children or having them climb on my head! Even right now, as I am writing this post, I feel as though I can write faster and the inspiration of what to write just comes!
- My health has improved. I know it’s hard to really tell after one week, but I feel more of a desire to get that walk in, which then leads to eating a healthier breakfast, and the domino effect just keeps on going throughout the day! Plus, getting to bed early, in itself, is just healthier for the body!
- My time with my kids is less rushed! Because I’m not in a hurry to get them to bed to have my personal time at night, I’m more likely to want to read to them longer and also do more things with them throughout the day. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s definitely improving!
Have I convinced you yet?? Trust me, if I can do this for a week, so can YOU! Grab a friend, and challenge them to do this with you, then come back and comment with how it went. You’ll either hate me or find a new outlook on life! (you might still hate me every time that alarm goes off)
Ok, now for the HOW! Here were the 7 things that helped me the most in my efforts to wake up before my kids!
1. Go to bed EARLY! Early for me was anytime before midnight, so the goal was 10 but it took some time for my body to WANT to go to sleep that early.
2. Put your alarm clock (or phone) FAR away from your bed but close enough for you to hear! You want to force your sleepy self to have to get out of that bed!
3. Set out your workout clothes (or regular clothes if you don’t want to workout) the night before. You will not want to use those brain cells right when you wake up and if the decision of what to wear has already been made, then you’re already one up on your day!
4. Either GET OUT THE DOOR or GET IN THE SHOWER! Those first 5 minutes after you wake up will either make you or break you! I found, that if I could just muster enough self-control to get through the first 5-10 minutes, then I was fully awake and ready to pounce on my day! Keep that in mind when you are longingly eyeing those soft comfortable sheets!
5. Motivate yourself! Don’t say, “If I get up early, I can tackle my messy house!” (unless that kind of thing excites you) Think of something that you really LOVE doing and let that be your motivation for getting out of bed. I’ve been trying to clean my house the night before so I don’t have that screaming in my ears when I wake up. I want to blog, not clean!
6 Reward yourself! Set a goal (1 day, 1 week, etc) but make sure it is realistic and reward yourself for making it that far. My birthday is coming up in another week and my husband has taken that day off work so that I can just pamper and party!
7. I forgot to also add…install black out curtains in all your kids bedrooms. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. Your welcome!
Here’s a great quote to get you motivated:
“It’s amazing how much more I get accomplished in a day when I retire early and arise early. The benefits of this self-discipline far exceed the effort required. When we win the first battle of the day against the mattress, we are far more likely to win more battles during the day. We are also more likely to be filled with life and energy.” (Randal A. Wright, Ensign Magazine July 2015)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear the sound of
crazy minions sweet children about to attack my room…
What are you waiting for? Start tonight! You’re sanity will thank you and your family will thank you!